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Thread: Fog on the Tyne

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Fog on the Tyne

    I've been increasingly distracted by the ongoing drama at my favourite association football club (soccer to those of you who refuse to spell colour properly), Newcastle United. Kevin Keegan, the volatile and personable manager has had a very public falling out with the team owner, Mike Ashley over the disgraceful way that the boardroom have behaved with regard to the integrity of his position. I must say that as much as we bemoan the ownership of our beloved Rams, give thanks that they aren't Mike Ashley.

    So its been as if the fog had risen from the confines of the banks of the mighty river Tyne that runs through the city of Newcastle and blinded me to the comings and goings of the NFL. It was only a couple of days ago that I realised I hadn't done anything regarding fantasy football for example, and I had very little idea that Culberson was odds on favourite for the strongside linebacker spot. (Well done Q!)

    Then, a couple of days ago, on my way back home from extolling the delights of the English legal system, I happened across a very convenient store named appropriately, The Beer Bay. Manfully resisting the lure of cranberry juice, I settled instead on the storied delights of 'The Bishops Finger' a strong traditional brew with an emphasis on constitutional compromise. Suitably inspired with bottle in hand, I headed to catch my ferry home.

    Before I boarded the shabby junk that represents my ticket to my own little sub-tropical Island paradise however, I spied a season preview edition of Sports Illustrated. Along with a packet of Worcester sauce crisps (chips to those of you who refuse to spell armour properly), it meant I was well set to spend the 25 minute trip home, savouring the beer and relaxing as wave of statistically inspired football forecasts washed over me.

    I didn't relax very much. I probably didn't relax at all.

    I flicked straight to the Rams page you see and what I saw there, in addition to what I saw in relation to the rest of the NFC west, irritated me more than a S.L.O.P pronouncement.

    Now, I'm no homer and I don't ascribe to the view that the team is or should be a perennial contender, I prefer to recognise the cyclical nature of football and the ebb and flow of fortune that only the talented and lucky can ride with impunity. I don't believe we have a god-given right to win or that we've had the talent to win regularly over the last four seasons. But what was written in SI was bewildering at the very least and mirrored some of the stuff I'd seen pronounced on our outlook for this year elsewhere.

    The schedule is disgusting, there's no disguising that but what's often glossed over is that we have a fairly poor division to contend with. This along with a second half schedule that is much more reasonable could see us surprise if we manage to eke out at least three wins from those first eight games. Barring another unsightly rash of injuries, I struggle to see us fulfill the 5-11 season that SI has us down for.

    SI, in common with many other sources, makes a mistake in my opinion because it evaluates teams largely on what their record was last year and then tends to tailor a personnel evaluation around the record rather than looking at the personnel relative to last year, others in the division and beyond and then offering a view based on the here and now. Lip service is paid to acknowledging extenuating circumstances such as injury but largely these media experts perpetuate the view that 'You are what your record says you are'. If that were a perfect truth then it would be groundhog day every day with little room for improvement. Not to mention that there would be no room for a rags-to-riches Warner story a la 1999.

    Its easier to do it that way of course, its easier to steal a glance at the record, slap a letter from A to E on a unit, talk about their first rounder, write a brief season review for the team in question and then supply some pithy one-liners for colour.

    I recognise that season previews are an inexact science and I'm not after rep points for media-bashing because I recognise its limitations but I really would like someone to explain how having J.T Sullivan behind a porous offensive line, in a Mike Martz Offence is grounds for ranking them ahead of the Rams. Likewise, I want someone to explain quite how the perennial media darlings Arizona, are a lock to finish second with a 37 year old injury plagued QB who hasn't finished a season for the last couple of years and a 30 year old back with plenty of mileage on the clock. Haven't they been tipped to break through ever since Boldin had his outrageous rookine season?

    For me, its the Seahawks and then the rest of us and the difference between them and us is smaller than it has been for a while. Our ability to make progress on our division will of course be key and I think we need to look a little deeper than last year's record to get a really good feel for how the division will play out. I am cautiously optimistic that we can get something done in the division that will, at the very least, give us something to build on.

    I'd put our starting lines up there with any in the division, not to mention our QB and its that that gives me a sense that not all will be lost by game eight. We have a good a shot as any of toughing out a decent divisional position over the first eight weeks and the setting ourselves up for doing something from game nine onwards. We're not half as bad as people make us out to be and whilst I'm not enthused as to our prospects this year, I'm reasonably sure that we'll be better than 6-10 .

    So as much as the fog has cleared a bit and will be subject to the clearing light of the regular season soon enough, I can't help feeling that fog on the Tyne has extended a lot further than Newcastle.
    Last edited by Fat Pang; -09-04-2008 at 03:43 AM. Reason: Numerous typos


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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    The U. S. translation:

    Armour = Armor
    Colour = Color
    Realise = Realize
    Recognise = Recognize


    It is funny how they have the Whiners and Cardinals ranked ahead of us.

    GO RAMS!!!!


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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Editor's Note: Fat Pang originally planned to title this article "Hong Kong Phooey," but had to change it due to a copyright claim by Hanna-Barbera, Inc.

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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Reading about Newcastle United on a Rams site, woah that's surreal.

    My team, Hull City, play Newcastle next, so I want the Geordie turmoil to continue for a fortnight at least.

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Editor's Note: Fat Pang originally planned to title this article "Hong Kong Phooey," but had to change it due to a copyright claim by Hanna-Barbera, Inc.


    Expected.

    As for Hull Filthy, yes indeed, we play you lot next and I have no hope that the mess will be suitably dealt with by then. On a side note, Hull University used to have a decent BCAFL team which I used to play twice a year as well as see in the playoffs on occasion, so Hull holds some happy memories for me.

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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Isn't this that cute little sport where the guys, wear tight nylon mini-shorts, knee high socks, colorful blouses, and players fall down whenever anyone touches them resulting in being carried off in a stretcher, and the score rarely goes above 1 - 0?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Isn't this that cute little sport where the guys, wear tight nylon mini-shorts, knee high socks, colorful blouses, and players fall down whenever anyone touches them resulting in being carried off in a stretcher, and the score rarely goes above 1 - 0?
    How many times do I have to tell you not to watch Arsenal?


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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Isn't this that cute little sport where the guys, wear tight nylon mini-shorts, knee high socks, colorful blouses, and players fall down whenever anyone touches them resulting in being carried off in a stretcher, and the score rarely goes above 1 - 0?
    no, no, i believe that's the NFL Yearbook recap of our 07 campaign.

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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Right or wrong, the Rams are going to have to earn respect, it's just not going to come any other way.

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    Re: Fog on the Tyne

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Right or wrong, the Rams are going to have to earn respect, it's just not going to come any other way.
    We've done a terrific job of that so far.

    J.T Sullivan anyone?

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